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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
Basis Function: Daubechies4

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31st, 2009 Picks

Ahh, fuck. 1-1-0 today after Brian Fuentes gave up a 3 run homer with 2 outs to send the game into extra innings. Angels lose, my streak ends, and on to another one.

Stults couldn't quite make it through the 4th inning and the Cubs scored slowly and steadily to win this game 7-0.

Matt Palmer and Felix Hernandez both pitched well enough to deserve to win, but neither of them will be credited with one tonight. Palmer had a one run lead staked to his performance after he pitched 7 shut out innings. Darren Oliver retired the batters 1-2-3 in the 8th and the Angels added a couple of insurance runs for good measure. Closer Brian Fuentes allowed two men on base and with two outs gave up a 3 run homer to Javier Lopez to blow the save. The Mariners scored again in the 10th inning and could not get it back in the bottom of the inning to go down 4-3. And so on to the picks.

1) Sampdoria @ Palermo - Palermo win
2) Justin Rose vs. John Rollins - Rose cards a lower front 9 score
3) Maria Sharapova vs. Na Li - Li
4) Washington vs. Georgia - Washington
5) Boston Red Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays - Boston
6) Minnesota Twins @ Tampa Bay Rays - Minnesota
7) Jimmie Johnson vs. Carl Edwards - Johnson has a better finishing position
8) Tim Clark or Jason Day vs. Rest of Field - Clark or Day win the tournament
9) Alabama vs. Florida - 5 runs or fewer
10) Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels - Los Angeles
11) Pittsburgh Penguins @ Detroit Red Wings - Detroit
12) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs - Chicago
13) Georgia vs. Washington - Washington

Il rosanero will try for 59 points with a victory over Coppa Italia runners up Sampdoria today at the Renzo Barbera where they have collected 52 of a possible 64 points with a 14-0-4 (W-D-L) record this season. As always, at least for the larger European leagues, goal.com has a nice preview of the match where they predict a 2-2 draw. Part of the reasoning for that comes from the injury concerns facing Palermo, where they will have to do without defender Cesare Bovo, midfielder Fabio Liverani, and Uruguyan striker Edison Cavani. All three players started 27 matches or more for the club. Sampdoria will be missing Pietro Accardi in the backfield, which may or may not be a bad thing considering he has been a major component of a defense which has conceded 29 goals in 17 away matches.

Antonio Cassano has been left off the Italian team so he may have a big game with a chip on his shoulder and to increase his value as he looks to move on at the end of this season. It will be interesting to see how Palermo's Simon Kjaer does marking him. Sampdoria's defense has been porous all season but it was enough to take them all the way to penalty kicks in the Coppa Italia final so they can put the wall up when they have to. Palermo are heavy favorites in the sportsbooks to win outright, around 50%, and I think they can pull off a win here, but with Cassano up front for Sampdoria it is risky to predict they will not pull off the draw. To ease your mind just remember that Palermo have not drawn at home in 19 matches in all competitions this season.

2) Justin Rose has had a slow start to his season on the PGA Tour. After taking time off in January and February to be with his pregnant wife, he returned to the tour as soon as she gave birth. Since then he's made the cut in 6 of 9 events and has racked up $325,000 from it with 3 top 25 finishes. John Rollins appears to be hitting his stride in his 11th year earning $1.4 million dollars from 14 events thanks largely to 2nd place finishes at the Buick Invitational and The Honda Classic in February and March. He has hit a bit of a rough patch in the past month, finishing no higher than 37th in that time.

At the Colonial Country Club this year it has been Justin Rose who has performed better on the front 9 of the course. Clicking on the image to the right one can compare the two players' scorecards. As they are paired together
Rose's Scorecard
Rollin's Scorecard

Rose has carded lower front 9 scores in each of the first three rounds.
for the final round they have performed similarly overall, but Rose has carded the lower front 9 score for all three rounds. Rose has carded birdies on five separate holes with at least two in each round while Rollins
has birdied only three of the holes so far, with two or fewer birdies in all three rounds. Neither player has bogeyed much on the front 9 so their ability to birdie has been important in determining their overall score on the holes. In the past five years at this event Justin Rose has also been the better performer, typically. His best finish was tied for 13th in 2005 while Rollins achieved his top finish in 2007 tied for 24th. On the front 9 Rose has carded 7 of 11 rounds under par in those 5 years, with a median score of -2 while Rollins has carded only 6 of 14 rounds under par with a median score of even par. I think Rose may have been distracted by his newly born child but will prove to be the more successful golfer by the end of the Tour this year. His performance at this event this year and years previous suggest he will card a lower front 9 score today and I am not of mind to disagree. Previews of the holes can be found here.

12) The Chicago Cubs will try to hand the Los Angeles Dodgers their first three game losing streak of the season when they play at Wrigley Field tonight. The Dodgers took the first game 2-1 before losing the next two and have managed to score only 3 runs total in the series. Their hitting has gone away (.194 batting and .258 slugging) against the Cubs' pitching staff of Wells, Lilly, and Dempster and the going won't get any easier as they face Sean Marshall.

Sean Marshall and the Cubs seek to hand the Dodgers their first three game losing streak of the season.
Marshall has had a good start to the season posting a 3.70 ERA and 1.28 WHIP through 7 starts an some relief appearances. In his last start Marshall limited the Pirates to 1 earned run though he did not go deep into the game pitching only 5 innings. Marshall has not been able to get into the 7th inning in a single game this season as he is limited on his pitch count and has not been very economical with those pitches.

The Dodgers will start Eric Milton who has been doing well since his return from Tommy John surgery (arm ligament replacement). Milton posted a 2.83 ERA through 7 starts at AAA Albuquerque giving up 11 earned runs, and has a 3.00 ERA from his two starts in the Majors this season. He will have to take on a surging Chicago Cubs offense that is batting .293 and slugging .467 against the Dodgers in this series. While sluggers such as Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano have not been stellar by any means other players, such as last years NL Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto, and Mike Fontenot, are picking up their games after slow starts to the season. In Fontenot's case the slow start was due to starting the season on the bench, with injuries bringing him into the starting lineup.

I think Sean Marshall will continue to be a strong starter, but in today's game I expect players like Juan Pierre, Orlando Hudson, and Andre Ethier to make things rough for him. It would be a good start for him to give up 3 runs while going 5 innings. Milton should also have a good game, but will also be limited in pitch count so we should see the bullpens in play for at least 3 innings tonight. I think the Dodgers will have an advantage in that case, but if Soriano, and Derrek Lee can get back on track with their power hitting that advantage will be neutralized. I really think either team would be a good pick tonight. Though I do feel the Dodgers are more likely to perform better on offense I think the Cubs have a greater advantage playing at Wrigley Field.

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